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October 02, 2016

Are Procedural Lesson Plans Worth it?

In the first five years of teaching, writing lesson plans was absolutely necessary for me. Meticulously I planned the period, minute to minute insuring that everything was covered... just in case. Fearful of deviating, even a little, I wrote down questions with the exact answers I expected. This way...

September 27, 2016

Dropping Grades One Baby Step at a Time

Teaching reflection and self-assessment in a culture that isn't used to doing it takes time. But for a gradeless classroom to be successful, students must know success criteria and how to identify it in their own work. These baby steps will allow students to start looking at their work with help and then with their peers and then on their own.

September 22, 2016

When There Isn't a Shared Vision, Meet Colleagues Where They Are

Great teaching can look a lot of different ways. Rather than try to make us all look the same, we need to embrace what makes our spaces special and just enhance the efforts for the benefits of the kids. This must be our goal.

September 20, 2016

Periscope Makes it Possible for Animal Farm Talk Shows to Go Live

The kids were prepared and ready to go... and in an effort to document and backchannel all that we do, today's first few segments aired on Periscope. All performers were asked before their group went if they felt comfortable being live streamed and the one group who objected to being seen, allowed m...

September 13, 2016

Starting From Scratch After 15 Years, Sort of

Although old challenges may no longer be present, new ones will certainly arise, but the benefit of starting over with the prior experience I have is what will help me and others grow. Walking into a new opportunity can be scary but it is that fear that will either force me to improve or force me into submission of some kind. Since I'm not a quitter, it can only be up from here.

September 11, 2016

Adjusting to My New School Culture

Aside from everything that is new, I'm really grateful to the few colleagues who have gone out of their way to really make me feel at home, answering my millions of questions and coming to my rescue when I have that "deer in headlights" kind of look on my face. What an exciting new adventure! I'm keeping my mind open. For those of you starting new jobs or welcoming new people into your job, what advice can you share?

September 06, 2016

A Letter to Myself on the Eve of My 15th Year of Teaching

Read on to share the letter I've written to myself at the beginning of my 15th year. What message would you write to yourself in a letter?

September 04, 2016

Twitter Chats Can Build Collaboration for Systemic Change

Every year I go into the school year not really knowing what to expect. And since this year is so drastically different, not just in the specific perimeter of my job but also in the school community I will now be a part of. Rather than let fear consume me, (there have been moments throughout the su...

August 28, 2016

Student-Centered Coaching - Let's Make it About Kids

When we move away from a teacher-centered coaching relationship toward a student-driven one, we shift away from punitive structures and toward collaborative engagement to ensure student success beyond teacher success. Let's face it, doesn't matter how good a teacher is in the classroom if the students are getting what they need. It's all about applying the best strategies for the specific kids who are in front of us to help them achieve.

August 23, 2016

The Power of Podcasts and a Love of Books

Podcasting can be a great way to engage readers with a text. One podcast that employs great strategies for reading a text is Harry Potter and the Sacred Text. Read on to see how this particular podcast can be a launching point for using podcasting in your classes.

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The opinions expressed in Work in Progress are strictly those of the author(s) and do not reflect the opinions or endorsement of Editorial Projects in Education, or any of its publications.

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